Tamuhla Gilbert, Zizukise Njumba and Nosihle
Four members of the 2012 Medical Students’ Representative Council (MSRC) set the standard for achievement when they graduated from the MBChB Programme in the requisite time.
Drs Nosihle Gumede, Zizukise Njumba and Nombuso Shozi, together with 2012 MSRC President Dr Tamuhla Gilbert, all first-generation doctors in their families, have embarked on exciting new journeys in their lives, serving their internships in hospitals around the country.
The group became well-acquainted with the Medical campus in 2008 when they enrolled for their first year in the MBChB programme, juggling their personal lives, academic performance and leadership roles in the MSRC to become the medical doctors they are today.
While Gumede is serving her internship in the Pietermaritzburg-based hospitals, Edendale and Grey’s, Njumba is based at Witbank Hospital in Mpumalanga and Shozi said she is enjoying her internship at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Durban where learning transcends the theory they were taught and she finds the hands-on experience of helping patients extremely rewarding.
Gilbert told UKZN Online that he is still exploring the medical disciplines in which he might specialise. He is currently serving his internship at Leratong Hospital in Johannesburg and said although it was a long journey through Medical School, patience, perseverance and hard work had paid off. ‘Despite the amount of work we do, the feeling of knowing I have so many lives in my hands is so awesome,’ he said.
‘Becoming the first doctor in the family was actually the best gift I have given to my parents. They have invested a lot of money and energy trying to shape a better future for me and my sibling.’
Gilbert, who hails from Botswana, joined UKZN as the result of a partnership signed between UKZN and the University of Botswana to train 10 medical doctors.
‘I come from a rural area and I have seen how much health is restricted to urban areas. The best our grandmothers and fathers get in the rural areas is a nurse for 100 patients per day. People suffer complications and die in ambulances en route to see a doctor in an urban area. This is very sad and unfair to our communities,’ said Gilbert.
‘As the MSRC President, all I wanted was the best for medical students: Black, White, Indian, South African, those from Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. My principle was one: to get the best out of management in the least radical way.’
Gilbert said he would encourage the government to train more students from rural areas. ‘I am proud to mention that UKZN has indeed showed that they are a Premier University of African Scholarship through their admission quota to Medical School.’
Gilbert said it was very important for students to realise that student politics is not a career. ‘I have always mentioned to potential leaders that I believe in “learn, lead and leave”.’
He said in addition to becoming the best doctor you can ever be, it is also important to lead by example in society.